Transit bill advances at Statehouse after losing amendments

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The Indiana House Ways and Means Committee voted Tuesday morning to move a mass-transit bill to the full House, where it’s sure to see further debate.

Before the vote, committee Chairman Tim Brown, R-Crawfordsville, withdrew four amendments from Senate Bill 176 that had been proposed Monday by the bill's sponsor, Rep. Jerry Torr, R-Carmel. The committee voted 17-1 in favor of the bill. The sole ‘no’ vote was cast by Rep. Eric Turner, R-Cicero.

Brown said Monday that Republican committee members would discuss the proposed amendments in caucus. There was no public discussion before the vote Tuesday.

Torr’s proposed amendments would have restored the ability to use light rail in a mass-transit system, as well as a requirement for 10 percent of revenue to come from alternative sources, not taxes or fares. Other proposed amendments removed Hendricks County as one of the counties eligible to join a regional transit authority and dealt with language on the extent of transit service in a county.

Amendments can also be filed as the bill moves through the full House.


  • It'll Pass in Marion County
    If people in the donut counties don't want better public transportation then they should have the right to vote no. Just like if people in Marion County do want better public transportation, they should have the right to vote yes. And while some people are so sure that donut counties don't want this, I think one should notice that much of Hamilton County does want it, according to the representatives of Fishers, Carmel, and Noblesville. Given Cicero apparently is saying no, but they'll still get out-voted by people in the main three suburbs.
  • will get killed at the voting booth
    Let the people vote. This will die hard in the voting booth. No way bus or light rail gets passed in the donut counties. Why don't y'all work on making Indianapolis a better place to live so people don't want to live in the 'burbs? Novel idea, right? But to do that, the crime and schools need fixed, and that's too hard...
    • LRT/DMU Please!
      Light rail would get the highest ridership numbers of any mode, would be the most efficient, has the lowest operating costs, provides the greatest passenger comfort, has a proven track record increasing property values near stations. Besides, lots of folks, myself included love trains. I go out of my way to ride trains. In general, busses don't generally inspire much passion. Besides, we could use light European style DMU trains for only slightly more than BRT. Its a no brainer!
    • I hope we get light rail.
      I know that it would be lightly used and prove to be a continual drain on taxpayers but I would love to have light rail in Indy. It's cool and like they say all the big boys have it. I truly enjoy going to cities that have rail mass transit. It's fun.
      • Bring it on
        Horrible public transportation is the only thing holding this city back and all people that have lived in a city(not Rushville Indiana) know this.
      • Bogus Stunt
        Proposing an amendment one knows the chairman will later remove is a political dance and bogus stunt. One millimeter of mercury is no exception. Please do not be fooled.
      • Mass Transit
        Marshall is right on the money. Has Eric Turner ever traveled further than Indianapolis? We have a right of way for light rail and apparently no one has the cajones to step up and let the citizens vote on it.
      • Wow
        It amazes me just how incredibly short sighted our representatives are when it comes to the need for mass transit in Central Indiana. As always, they strive to keep Indiana about 50 years behind the rest of the country. And once again, Eric Turner is the epitome of moron. Who in the h-e-double hockey stick voted for this fool, anyway?
      • Shafted again
        As always the little guy gets shafted, but that is Indiana. Say, If one of the counties involved votes against can we keep it out of our county? (I bet not)

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